Control Cravings For Chocolate

Diposkan oleh Vienka on Friday, October 9, 2009

Chocolate holds a powerful allure for so many of us, robbing us of the best of intentions to cut calories and control our weight. So how do we control cravings?Far more common in women (97%) than men (68%), that longing for the rich, creamy flavor or dense, calorie-packed food and all the feelings that go with them is something so many of us understand.

However, recent research by British scientists at the University of Exeter shows that a brisk 15-minute bit of exercise can halt that craving in its tracks.

We’ve all been there at one time or another.

And we’ve all had our self esteem sabotaged as we tell ourselves our cravings are lack of willpower, when in truth they’re biological signals from the body.

When we’re overtired or unhappy, we have low blood sugar and/or low serotonin, the body tells the brain it needs a pick-me-up and it is this that signals the start of a sugar or carbohydrate craving.

One of the worst things about cravings comes when these impulses take hold… and derail serious weight loss efforts or undermine our efforts to overcome eating disorders.

The study authors provided background information on what we already know about cravings - giving in to these irresistible urges leads to bouts of unhealthy eating sure to sabotage weight management efforts.

The study appears in the latest issue of the journal Appetite, and the authors are hoping their work leads to better strategies for cutting cravings before they take hold and take over.

Interestingly, good, healthy habits, and reduction in weight and increased fitness levels have been shown to come with even small changes in what you eat and how active you are each day.

The study leaders, Adrian Taylor and Anita Oliver of the University of Exeter conducted their work on 25 subjects they describe as “regular chocolate eaters” - those who ate (at least) two 50-gram bars of chocolate a day.

The chocolate lovers were deprived of their beloved treat for three days, and told not to exercise or have caffeine for two hours before the test period.

During the test, blood pressure and heart rate were monitored, and subjects completed food-craving questionnaires.

While one group sat quietly, a separate group of subjects was asked to walk on a treadmill for 15 minutes - a rigorous walk without getting out of breath. The way you might walk if you’re trying to catch a bus.

Both groups them completed a computerized test and were allowed to handle, though not to taste, an unwrapped piece of chocolate. Now that’s craving… up close and personal.

By depriving subjects of what they crave, putting them under stress (the computerized test) and then exposing them to chocolate, the researchers were intentionally trying to ignite chocolate cravings.

What they learned was that the group who walked had a significant reduction in their cravings when compared to baseline measurements.

What’s more, the brisk walk eased blood pressure after the test and when handling the unwrapped chocolate. But being sedentary appeared to have no impact on cravings.

If you can’t be active, you might try some healthy foods to supply the nutrients your body is craving.

For example, if you’re stuggling to control cravings for chocolate, what your body truly needs, according to naturopathic physicians, is magnesium that you can get by eating healthy food like raw nuts and seeds, legumes and fruits.

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